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Penguins 3, Islanders 2 (SO)

Evgeni Nabokov made 30 saves in 65 minutes of play; Rick DiPietro replaced him for the shootout; the Isles earned one point in the effort

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 10:46 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Penguins 3, Islanders 2 (SO)
Evgeni Malkin scored the lone goal in the shootout to propel the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 win over the Islanders on Thursday night at Consol Energy Center. Rick DiPietro, who entered the game in the shootout, made saves on Kris Letang and James Neal. The Islanders come home from Pittsburgh with a point.

“We want to get points, whether it’s a point or two in every game that we play,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “There is no question that we were fortunate that we were where we were after two periods.”

With just 1:01 left on the clock in the first period, Frans Nielsen’s shot low glove side gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead as he stood through the traffic area and found a Kyle Okposo rebound.

Matt Martin celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on October 27, 2011. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Islanders were outshot 13-2 in the second frame and 32-19 on the night.

“I give our D a lot of credit tonight,” Capuano said. “They were chipping pucks all night long, coming in on the forecheck, really playing a physical game and our D really were strong tonight taking a hit to make plays.”

Forty-five seconds into the third period, Matt Martin scored his first goal of the season to send the Islanders ahead 2-0 as he converted on a rebound beating Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

“I’m real happy with the performance of those guys,” Capuano said referring to Martin and his linemates Marty Reasoner and Jay Pandolfo. “Even on the penalty kill, they handled blocking shots. Marty did a great job tonight.”

Despite their physical play, the Islanders were unable to hold the lead as Chris Kunitz scored an even-strength goal just 44 seconds later, cutting the lead in half.

Just over a minute later, Okposo was sent to the box for a questionable goaltender interference call and that Islanders penalty kill – the fifth of six on the night – would prove to be where the Penguins would tie the score. A tic-tac-toe play from Malkin and Kunitz found James Neal right outside the crease for an open net.

“It’s disappointing that we were up 2-0 and then the next shift, our d-zone coverage was just dismantled and guys were running around,” Capuano said. “When our forwards are not stopping and starting, that’s what happens, the pucks end up in your net.”

But the Islanders still killed 5-of-6 penalties and blocked 23 shots on net.

Evgeni Nabokov stops the puck in front of James Neal on October 27, 2011 at Consol Energy Center. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
“We had two chances on the PK to put the puck 200 feet and we didn’t,” Capuano said. “Nine out of 10 times, when they don’t clear it, it’s in the back of your net. But our PK did a good job. They blocked a lot of shots tonight.”

As always, your goaltender is your best penalty killer and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 30 shots in 65 minutes of game action. Then, in a last-minute decision, Capuano pulled the netminder in favor of DiPietro, who would see his first game action of this season in the shootout.

“I love our goalies. All three of them have played well and given us a chance, so I have no issues. One guy couldn’t go. I have all the faith in Ricky and he was great. He actually almost had Malkin’s there, but if we aren’t going to score, we aren’t going to win.”

After receiving queries on his decision to pull Nabokov, Capuano denied the veteran netminder was pulled because he felt uncomfortable.

“(Nabokov) wasn’t feeling well, so I had to put Ricky in… None of our goalies feel uncomfortable in situations like that,” Capuano said. “They’re all great competitors. Since the start of the season, they’ve given us a chance to win.”

The Islanders drop to 3-4-1 on the season. Their next game is at home on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 47 22 24 -1 46
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 47 9 25 17 34
B. Nelson 47 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 47 9 17 5 26
J. Boychuk 37 4 20 17 24
J. Bailey 35 8 14 9 22
N. Leddy 47 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 47 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 41 13 5 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 9 0 .913 2.37
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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